By Sr. Nina Caccam, SJBP
As the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa celebrates the Catechetical Sunday with the theme “Living as Missionary Disciples,” Coordinators and Assistant Coordinators of the CCD Program of the Diocese were commissioned last Sunday, September 17 at 9:00 AM at Mt. Carmel Cathedral. They were called forth and designated to a particular ministry of handing on the faith and being witness to the Gospel.
“The challenge of the Sunday’s Liturgy urges us on to reflect on the heart of God that embraces everyone in a spirit of forgiveness and love”. The Bishop, in his homily challenged not only them, who were given the mandate, but the people of God to experience the immensity of God’s love in the ministry given to us by virtue of our Baptism. Highlighting three important points to reflect, he started it with the MINISTRY OF PRESENCE. Recalling the gospel according to John 15:13 “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Just as how the Lord lay down his life, “just being there and listen” means a lot and a good start. More than just putting order in our CCD classes, “knowing the students” is what we are asked for. The First Reading from the book of Sirach impels us not just to know but to the extent of “hugging or embracing the sinner.” The Bishop challenges all in the ministry that every CCD student that comes into the CCD class should be embraced
With the special mandate given to us, the MINISTRY OF PROCLAMATION. From Mark’s Gospel this is the time of fulfillment repent and believe in the Gospel and this moves us to evangelize and go forth and make disciples of all nations! (Mt. 28:19). The Bishop reminded everyone of the powerful words of Pope Paul VI from his apostolic exhortation on evangelization: “No to true evangelization can exist if Jesus Christ has not been proclaimed. He is the essential content, the living substance, which cannot be modified and ignored.” The content of our faith should be proclaiming about Jesus Christ. It is WHO we proclaim and not about us. One of the things that we gave emphasis during the summer training, trying to equip the catechists in the area of methodology is to remind them that the CCD students are not learning another subject but they are all in their deep search of the meaning of life. This for us is a challenge to lead them to the only ONE who can give meaning into their lives and that is JESUS CHRIST.
The final but meaningful suggestion is that in this ministry of service, this should be a MINISTRY OF ACCOMPANIMENT that brought us back to the story of the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) A simple but a deep conversation that led into an encounter with Lord. We are challenged then to accompany others into an encounter with the Risen Lord. An accompaniment that goes deeply into their own journey that will somehow lead into an internalization of the faith and not just a compliance. That in their reception of the Sacraments, they come back and participate in the life of the church which is a fruit of a truly mature understanding of the faith and an encounter with the Lord.
The Bishop ended his homily with an endearing words of thanks to all the Coordinators and Assistant Coordinators for accepting this ministry particularly to the young.